Minors are now able serve alcohol in the CNMI since Oct. 30, 2019, after Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed into law a bill that exempt business owners from punishment when allowing minors to serve or sell alcoholic beverages.
Torres enacted Rep. Joel Camacho’s (R-Saipan) House Bill 21-48 into law on Oct. 30, 2019. Now known as Public Law 21-12, the legislation exempts a licensee, his agent, or employee from punishment when permitting persons at least 18 years old to serve or sell but not mix alcoholic beverages for purposes of employment.
Violations of this law will be a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, violators be fined not more than $1,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than one year or both, and shall be required to perform not less than 80 hours but not more than 250 hours of community services that cannot be suspended or converted to a fine.
The author of the legislation told Saipan Tribune in a previous interview that the intent of this legislation is to remove hiring bias for younger workers.
“I believe many of our young individuals as well as adults have a choice to be responsible,” he told Saipan Tribune, responding to a question whether his legislation would prematurely introduce alcohol to individuals less than 21 years of age.
“This bill’s main intent is to remove the potential hiring bias that acts as a barrier. This would help many young individuals attain meaningful employment and gain valuable work experience as they save up to go to college or other life endeavors,” he said.